Saturday, October 20, 2012

13 Days of Halloween: DVD Review - Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
Director: Dwight H. Little
Starring: Donald Pleasence, Ellie Cornell, Danielle Harris, Michael Pataki
Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Release Date: July 25, 2006
Running Time: 88 minutes
Rated R

I originally saw Halloween 4 when I rented it and the fifth movie a few weeks before The Curse of Michael Myers came out to VHS. I only had basic cable as a kid, and Halloween 4 & 5 never aired on any of the channels. The first thing I noticed was the horrible cheap looking mask. You would think Moustapha Akkad would want a decent looking mask, but I guess they ran out of money for it. All the VHS covers and DVD covers have Michael wearing the 1978 mask, so it can be a little misleading.

After the box-office bomb called Halloween III: Season of the Witch, the franchise took a six year break, coming back in 1988 with Michael Myers surviving the explosion at the end of Halloween II. For the past ten years, he has been in a coma at a sanitarium. Without Dr. Loomis's approval, Michael is being transferred to another hospital by an ambulance. He awakes from the coma and kills the paramedics.

Dr. Loomis arrives at the crime scene on Halloween morning. After a quick glance he knew that Michael is alive. On his way to Haddonfield, Illinois, he stops by a gas station/diner where he finds two corpses and Michael, now dressed  in a mechanic's clothes. Dr. Loomis pulls out his gun, but it is too late as Michael has escaped in a tow-truck, causing a fire that explodes Loomis's car and the gas station/diner.

Eight-year-old Jamie Lloyd is still grieving over the death of her parents, whom died in a car accident. She continues to live in Haddonfield with her foster family, the Carruthers. On Halloween night, Jamie's foster parents are spending the night out and Jamie's foster-sister Rachel is going to take her (dressed in a clown costume) trick-or-treating for the night, even though Rachel is going to miss her date with her boyfriend. The girls are unaware that they are being watched by the bogeyman!

After getting a ride from a stranger, Dr. Looms enlists the help of Sheriff Meeker and his deputies. They locate Rachel and Jamie and barricade them inside the sheriff's house, where Rachel's boyfriend, Brady, happens to be with the sheriff's daughter. Dr. Loomis and Sheriff Meeker leave the house to search the streets for Michael unaware that he is already in the house. One by one, Michael kills everyone in his path until it is just Rachel and Jamie defending for their lives.

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers is one my favorite sequels from the franchise. Yes, the acting isn't great and the mask is horrible, but I'm a sucker for any movie that is set on Halloween. I didn't mind that Jamie Lee Curtis didn't appear in the film, but instead the film focuses on Jamie Lloyd (played by Danielle Harris) who becomes Michael's obsession and only bloodline. Once again, Donald Pleasence reprises his role as Dr. Samuel Loomis, but the character is older and a little crazier as he is determined to stop Michael's madness. Even thought I have seen the movie dozens of times, I still love the twist at the ending.

I bought the VHS tape in the late 90s and replaced it back in 2006 with this DVD. There are many extras - Audio Commentary with actresses Ellie Cornell and Danielle Harris, Audio Commentary with Writer Alan B. McElory, Halloween 4/5 Discussion Panel, The Making of Halloween 4 and the theatrical trailer.

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